Sweet Peas and Pigtails

Author Archives: Sweet Peas and Pigtails

Hi there! I’m Jennifer, wife to Jonathan and mama to two Sweet Peas. I worked full time as a speech-language pathologist for nearly a decade before becoming a mommy and now I work part-time so I can stay at home with my two little sweet peas.




When I asses a child’s speech, I not only look at his or her articulation errors but also their sound pattern errors. As children learn to talk, they use these patterns of sound errors called phonological processes to simplify speech. For example, you might hear your child say “da” for “dog”, “geen” for “green”, or “dob” for “job”.   They do this because they can’t coordinate their articulators (lips, tongue, teeth, palate, and jaw) for clear speech. They often simplify the adult model by substituting sounds that are in their sound repertoire for sounds that they haven’t yet mastered. There are many different patterns of simplifications or phonological processes.

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10 Books For Babies Under One

Before Sweet Pea was born, I started building her library. I gladly collected hand-me-down books from relatives and friends and scanned books for my baby registry. I knew I wanted her to learn to love books and as a speech pathologist, I knew just how important reading was, even early on.

I know it’s crazy but I actually started reading to her while I was still pregnant. Not all the time but when I thought of it. Now, at 10 months, Sweet Pea LOVES books. If given a choice between a really cool toy and a book, she’d probably choose the book 80% of the time. She loves listening to her mama read, trying to turn the pages, and pointing at the pictures.

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Fun Ways to Teach Early Words


As parents, we absolutely cannot wait to hear our child talk. Around 12 months or so, you may hear your little one say their first true, meaningful word like “mama”, “dada” or “bye-bye”. By 18 months, babies have about 50 words they can say and begin to make word combinations such as “no mama” or “more eat”. It’s what’s called the “vocabulary explosion.” I can’t wait until our little Sweet Pea is old enough to talk to us. In the meantime, we are enjoying every bit of babbling and vocalization she uses!

Even though Sweet Pea can’t talk to us yet, we still play fun games to teach these early words and concepts. Here are some fun things we do:

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What to Expect in Receptive Language: Birth to 12 months

Hearing and Understanding: Receptive Language

Receptive Language is the ability to understand both words and gestures. So when baby stops doing something when you say “no” or follows a simple command such as “bring me the ball”, that is receptive language.

Birth-3 months:

At this time, you will probably see your baby startle when he or she hears a loud sound. We make a lot of concoctions in our food processor and Vitamix and Sweet Pea definitely “jumped” when we turned them on! Baby also may quiet or smile when you speak and it may seem like your sweetie might just actually recognize your voice by quieting down if crying. You may also notice that your baby might slow or increase their sucking behavior when they hear a certain sound. Here’s a little picture of Sweet Pea when she was just a few days old. We were blending something in the Vitamix when this pic was snapped and my husband jokes that it looks like she is covering her ears to block out the sound.


4-6 months:

I call this the “sound stage.” Things start to get fun and at this point in time, baby will start to move their eyes towards a sound. I noticed at this time that Sweet Pea was starting to get distracted. If I was talking to my husband or if the TV was on, she would turn from what she was doing to look. She also started paying more attention to toys that made sounds like rattles, bells, and musical toys. It was during this time that Sweet Pea started really enjoying music. We both sing to her but daddy takes it to a whole new level and plays all kinds of music, sings, dances, and really puts on a show for her. You might notice that your baby responds to a change in your tone of voice. When I raised my voice she would lift her eyebrows and just stare at me but when I sang or talked playfully, she would smile and try to communicate.

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What to Expect in Expressive Languge: Birth to 12 months

Here’s my attempt at compiling a basic list of speech and language development using my experience as a speech-language pathologist and mommy. As a first time mommy, I often have so many questions regarding my baby so I thought I’d put together a little blurb about speech and language milestones for other parents or anyone else who is interested! Please keep in mind however that every child learns at his or her own speed and this is just a guideline.
Talking: Expressive Language
Expressive Language is the ability to communicate with others using language. So any kind of cry, coo, smile, laugh, babble, and vocalization is how baby communicates expressively. Listed below are these skills in a general order of development.

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16 Weeks and Getting My Prenatal Workout On


Well my energy is starting to finally come back! I’m happy that I finally feel well enough get a good workout in. I’m big into working out but I was so tired during the first trimester and didn’t want to do much of anything besides occasional walking. Some of the workouts I currently love:

  1. “Pregnancy Fitness” with Lindsay Brin: 4 DVD workout set (one DVD for each trimester plus a postnatal bootcamp DVD). I’m doing the 2nd trimester workout a few days a week. Love it because it incorporates a little bit of cardio plus weights. Gotta increase that muscle tone and boost my endurance for the marathon of labor that will be in oh, about 24 weeks!
  2. Fit Ball Exercises: Click here for Fit Momma. Works my core, arms and legs plus those oh so important pelvic floor muscles.

  3. Prenatal Yoga: watch here on youtube. Found this entire workout on youtube for free! I LOVE this yoga workout and try to do it at least 2-3 times a week.  She works out by the pool so it’s very calming but you still get a great workout and feel very stretchy at the end.

  4. Walking: I love to walk! I try to walk 2-3 miles at least 4 times a week.